December 5, 2018

A quick guide to the Florida short sale process

realtor with short sale sign

Short sales are a possible solution if you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth, need to sell, and lack the funds to make up the shortfall. 

No two short sales are exactly the same as they all vary by lender, investor and the seller’s situation, but most short sales generally follows the same basic process:

Seller Consultation: 

This is the first and most important part of the Florida short sale process. To determine whether a seller will qualify for a short sale I gather basic information such as:

  • Sellers goals and circumstances
  • Sellers financial situation
  • Lender(s) involved
  • Other liens, if any
  • Based on this initial information, we can determine whether a short sale is a viable option and schedule an appointment to meet and view the home.

    Property Listing and Marketing:

    After setting the proper seller expectations for the short sale and getting the home market ready, the home goes on the market. The only difference so far is that buyers will need to be aware that the sale will be subject to short sale approval which may take a few months.

    Securing a Buyer: 

    34423231 - estate agent shaking hands with his customer after contract signature

    Once agreement has been reached with a buyer, the property goes under contract and short sale negotiations with the lender begin. The bank holding the mortgage must agree to take a loss so that the owner can "sell short".

    Short Sale Negotiations:

    During this short sale approval process several things need to happen successfully. To (greatly) summarize:

    • We fully document the sellers situation to make a case for a "financial hardship"
    • The lender orders a valuation of the property to establish its current market value.
    • The lender(s) will decide to approve, decline, or counter the sale based on the results of the above, which generally leads to more negotiations over the terms of the approval.

    Approval and Closing: 

    Once all terms of approval have been negotiated to satisfaction, the lender(s) issue a detailed approval letter.

    Short sale approval letters generally expire in 30-45 days from the date of issuance, so at this point in time all parties should be prepared to close swiftly.

    approval stamp

    This is meant to serve as a guide only, as a full detail of all the variables involved in a short sale cannot be addressed by this post alone. It is absolutely critical that the party handling the short sale with the lender is highly experienced in the process.

    We have specialized in short sales since 2008 and have a 95%+ approval rate!

    We found Minna by doing an online search for short sale experienced realtors in the area. We had already moved to GA and could not sell our home. Minna and Jamie, her assistant, were very knowledgeable about the whole short sale process and made the transaction go as smoothly as could be. They  literally took care of everything for us!


    ​Article adapted from:

    Minna Reid

    Minna Reid is a Broker Associate at Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage, serving northeast Florida.

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